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home : opinions : our views August 22, 2017

2/16/2017 10:53:00 AM
Get a job, folks
Brooke Bechen
Reporter/News and Features

When I was a teenager, I never thought twice about going into Madison with my friends and family. The areas we frequented were safe and clean, and I never felt threatened or uncomfortable venturing to the West Side.
But unfortunately, that has changed. Kids do not know how to behave at the shopping mall and seems like you can bump into someone rude every where you go. There's garbage floating around in the parking lots and an overabundance of panhandlers at every single intersection!
What has changed in the 10 years since I graduated high school? I'm afraid to think that people are just becoming downright lazy and don't care much anymore, but it might be the case.
Take the panhandlers for example. It is not uncommon anymore to cruise to West Towne Mall and see three or four at EACH INTERSECTION going into the mall, holding a sign that explains their misfortune. When you're stopped at the light, it's hard to miss making eye contact with them, and I'll admit, sometimes it does make me uncomfortable. And it certainly is not safe - both for those driving and those standing there just mere feet away from moving vehicles.
I was pleased last week when the Madison City Council passed an ordinance banning panhandling at busy intersections. The ordinance prohibits people from prolonged standing in medians and also bans people from approaching vehicles that are in operation. It also holds drivers who stop for panhandlers accountable.
I take pride in coming to work every day and completing my tasks to produce a quality product each week. I knew I wasn't going to get rich by going into the newspaper business, but it is my passion - and I cannot wrap my mind around those who stand at those intersections and beg for money - and big money at that! There are times panhandlers are making more per hour than most of us are. But do they really take pride in that? I sure hope not.
I do believe there are some who truly have fallen on hard times, but there are resources available for them. It just takes a little time and effort.
I know it sounds harsh, but get a job, folks. What happened to getting up every day, taking pride in what you do and making honest money for yourself and your family?

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